Friday, September 23, 2011

Dog Park Fundraising, Adjudicated Properties and Property Standards Discussed at Last Meeting

In attendance: Kathryn Brandle, Susan Fontaine, Garrett Johnson, Carolyn Manning, Cynthia Keith, John Gilliland, Maurice Loridans, Steph Pedro, Bryan Michael, Susan Keith, Ken Hawkins, Loren Demerath

The group welcomed newcomers John Gilliland is a Lieutenant Colonel at Barksdale, and is interested in a walkable-bikeable Shreveport and planning. Bryan Michael is a paddler and has met others of the group before, and has worked with Cynthia on the police force. Kathryn Brandle knows Loren from being on the faculty at Centenary (Math), but has also met some of the dogpark committee members previously, and is a dog owner.

Susan reported that she would establish the ability to pay dues and donate online with paypal soon. (And she did! Format and use to be discussed at next meeting.)

The group discussed the dog park and the need to meet. They’ll be approaching some potential donors and talked about how the checks should made out and the categories the CFO Fontaine has for that fund.

The next fundraiser approaches: the dog wash is this Saturday 11-2 at 1845 Line Avenue. The fundraiser is still in need of towels for people to donate or have lended to them. We have one hundred and fifty and estimate we need one hundred more. A dollar store was noted as a resource.

November 5th is the beer and wine tasting fundraiser and Carolyn is looking for volunteers to help cook for it (at her house over wine!). One distributor has donated some cases and they are talking to others.

The group discussed the issue of state law dealing with clearing adjudicated property titles as described by Councilperson Jeff Everson on the radio show a few moments earlier. (“Time for ABetterShreveport” on KSCL at 5:00). The Napoleanic law issue has to do with the length of time it takes to clear title. Waiting years for a clear title is a problem here.

On another topic, the issue of environmental courts being used to maintain standards has been advocated in ABS before, but Maurice pointed out that a number of environmental web sites have objected to how community gardeners can be hassled over those issues. Other folks, who may not open their mail promptly, or have certain difficulties. It was noted that we don’t want to be dispossessing elderly people or people who are somehow weren’t getting notice. There can be advantages to living in area that has lax property standards, particularly compared to some highly regulated developments.

However, downtown, Loren noted, is a more public, communal resource that awaits development which would help the city as a whole. Such buildings as the temple can be neglected by out-of-town owners. We have standards but we don’t enforce them. It was mentioned that there are ways of reaching those people, via facebook, etc. Carolyn gets more questions on adjudicated property than anything else in her job as a downtown realtor. If you’re buying rights to an adjudicated property you can work on it. But it’s more likely to be low-end rental properties because they can afford to wait longer. There were a set of very low rent houses here in Shreveport that were built by a family that eventually moved to New Orleans.

The process of gaining access to adjudicated properties is not user friendly for lay people now, but with change of law it could make more so.

Robert Trudeau had reported that Pratt Industries had not been responsive but he would approach them again. (And later, success! They donated a substantial amount that would allow us to provide t-shirts with registration! Thanks Pratt, and thanks Robert!) Garrett reported that the posters are done and he’ll be working on finalizing t-shirt designs. The marketing will be posters, facebook, and email lists. John mentioned that an ad in the Barksdale base newspaper might be useful. The person who has the list from the original ride two years ago is Mike somebody (Leflett?) and is a friend of Carolyn Mills. (Any info from blog readers would be much appreciated!)

There’ll have a pre-ride sware the night before at Columbia Cafe among urban cyclists.

It was noted that we need to check on board member and officer term limits in the by-laws and folks can consider if they’d like to continue and/or nominate others.

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